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directed by Brett Leonard
USA 1989


No sooner is amnesiac patient "Jane Doe" (Cheryl Lawson) brought in off the street to a crumbling mental institution (though the abandoned out-buildings look brilliantly white-washed despite their grimy interiors) than an earthquake frees the demonic spirit of mad Dr. Ramzi (Danny Gochnauer) from his secret lab (complete with "dead pit" for his failed experiments). With glowing red eyes, the mad doc stalks the halls of asylum looking for new guinea pigs among the staff and patients in between making his appearance known to "Jane Doe" who can't trust her own eyes. When guilt-ridden Dr. Swan (the late Jeremy Slate) finally catches on to the supernatural goings-on, Ramzi's failed experiments rise up from the green-glowing pit as zombies to tear apart the supporting cast while "Jane Doe" and a fellow munitions expert inmate (Steffen Gregory Foster) try to figure out how to destroy the mad doctor and the zombies.

Although a guilty pleasure of horror fans of the late eighties, the novelty for most will be seeing this film with the gore snipped for the R-rated release. While the gore effects are presented with gusto, the rest of the film is uneven. We're never given much of an explanation about the supernatural element of Dr. Ramzi's experiments and the earthquake heralding his resurrection is abrupt with little in the way of establishing any sense of the location in the intervening twenty years. There's little in the way of suspense (one can almost time who's going to get killed when) and Jane Doe's connection to Dr. Ramzi isn't particularly resonant. What can be appreciated is its sober approach to the material with little in the way of Freddy Krueger-esque wisecracks.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: January 89'

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DVD Review: Code Red DVD (Single Disc Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:41:54

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.52 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with director Brett Leonard, writer Gimel Everett, and actor Jeremy Slate
• Interview with actress Cheryl Lawson (4:3; 12:40)
• Interview with actor Jeremy Slate (4:3; 13:41)
• Interview with director Brett Leonard (4:3; 21:12)
• Interview with writer/produer Gimel Everett (4:3; 10:55)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:51)
• NIGHT WARNING trailer (16:9; 1:28)
• BEYOND THE DOOR trailer (16:9; 2:14)
• THE UNSEEN trailer (16:9; 2:10)
• THE FARMER trailer (4:3; 2:07)
• SOLE SURVIVOR trailer (4:3; 1:51)

DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008

Chapters 16



Code Red's DVD presents a progressive, anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) transfer of the uncut 102 minute version (Imperial Entertainment's original VHS release ran 95 minutes although the uncut version has been available in Europe including a fullscreen import DVD). The tacky title card on this uncut version was replaced in the US version (released through the short-lived Skouras Pictures).


A two-disc edition with additional supplements is available as a Best Buy exclusive featuring make-up test footage, additional featurettes, and an alternate ending with different make-up effects. Actress Cheryl Lawson provides a brief introduction as well as an on-camera interview. She does not join in on the commentary with director Brett Leonard, writer Gimel Everett, and actor Jeremy Slate (who also provide on-camera interviews). The original trailer and several Code Red trailers round out the disc.

 - Eric Cotenas


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Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC




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